Northern Development Minister Greg Rickford says he's looking for ways to help outfitters, who are struggling with the loss of American visitors this summer.

"We are putting a package together, as we speak, that will give tourist camp operators some relief," he said.

The package might include relief from such expenses as bear management and bait fees, as well as further marketing initiatives to encourage more Canadian visitors. Rickford suggested there might be ways to "incentivize" visitors, who may wish to help fill the empty spots left by the lack of American visitors.

More than 40 per cent of more than 200 resort owners in the Sunset Country tourism association say they may not open this year, due to a lack of business. The operators estimate they bring about $450 million a year to the area.

With the numbers involved across the country, Rickford would like to see a partnership with the federal government. Operators note the wage subsidies and loan packages aren't helpful, when they expect they won't have income for up to 20 months.

With the number of cases of the coronavirus continuing to grow in the U.S., the border closure is expected to extend into August, if not the fall. Public health measures, such as social distancing and self-isolation for those crossing the travelling, are also expected to hinder the fall hunting season for outfitters.

For more information:

Prospects for outfitters 'bleak,' association

Government has failed to help outfitters, MP

Petition